Updated TikTok Privacy Policy confirms that Chinese staff can access European users’ data

Pierluigi Paganini November 03, 2022

TikTok updated its privacy policy for European Economic Area (“EEA”) and confirmed that its Chinese staff can access their users’ data.

The short-form video-sharing service TikTok updated its privacy policy for European Economic Area (“EEA”), the UK, and Switzerland and confirmed that its users’ data can be accessed by its personnel, including Chinese employees.

European user data could be also accessed by TikTok staff in Brazil, Canada and Israel as well as the US and Singapore, where user data is currently stored.

Source: Messagero

“Based on a demonstrated need to do their job, subject to a series of robust security controls and approval protocols, and by way of methods that are recognised under the GDPR [the EU’s general data protection regulation], we allow certain employees within our corporate group located in Brazil, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States, remote access to TikTok European user data.” said Elaine Fox, TikTok’s head of privacy in Europe.

The Guardian revealed that the privacy policy update will go live on December 2, 2022.

The company pointed out that it doesn’t collect precise location information from its users in Europe.

TikTok also claims to have in place security controls to prevent any abuse of user data and implement system access restrictions.

ByteDance, which owns the short-form video-sharing platform, continues to deny that its operation are influenced by the Chinese authorities.

In October, a report published by Forbes accounted TikTok as being used to “target” US citizens. but ByteDance denied any accusation. According to the report the company planned to track the location of at least two people via the video-sharing app.

The US President, Joe Biden, has annulled Donald Trump’s executive orders related to the sale of TikTok’s US business. He asked the US commerce department to produce recommendations to protect the data of people in the US from “foreign adversaries”. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US is currently conducting a security review of the operations of the short-form video-sharing service.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, TikTok)

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